A GOVERNMENT big-hitter has praised Worcestershire's very own rapidly expanding 'cyber valley' - saying he is "hugely impressed".

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude told the House of Commons the phenomenal growth of small cyber security employers in Malvern and Worcester should be an example for other parts of the country to follow.

In November last year the Conservative visited the HQ of Titania, a rapidly-expanding city business which has seen massive growth since it launched in 2009 and is based in Barbourne Road.

Meanwhile in Malvern, the number of cyber companies stood at 40 in 2012 but has since rocketed to more than 80, mainly at the town's science park.

During a debate about internet security in parliament, Mr Maude said the rapid growth in Worcestershire has almost come about by "historical accident".

Worcester MP Robin Walker asked him: "He will know that one of the most important cyber-security clusters in the UK is in 'world class' Worcestershire.

"One business he has visited there, Titania security, told me it was benefitting from a wide range of Government help, including the apprenticeship scheme, research and development tax credits and help with exporting from UK Trade & Investment (a department in Whitehall).

"Will he update us on how his department could work with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to ensure that our cyber-security industry is the most competitive in the world?"

Mr Maude said: "It is very competitive - I know (Mr Walker) has given enormous support to the 'cyber cluster' in Worcestershire.

"As a matter of historical accident almost there are many businesses in Great Malvern.

"When I visited in 2012 there were 40 or so cyber companies and there are now more than 80 - this is very fast growing.

"We help cyber companies with exporting and many of them are doing it.

"I visited Titania and was hugely impressed by how many countries this relatively small company was selling its products to."

Titania only employs 25 people but has grown 400 per cent in five years, and now boasts clients including Manchester City FC, Sony, Visa, Mastercard, UK Government departments, the US army, navy and air force, the Australian military and the FBI.

Back in November Mr Maude said he wanted to replicate south Worcestershire's success in cities like Cardiff, Cambridge, Bristol and Southampton.

The cyber security industry employs 40,000 people in Britain now and is worth £6 billion to the economy.

After the debate Ian Whiting, Titania CEO said: “It is great to see companies such as Titania being mentioned in the House of Commons.

"The Government is including small business in its discourse and that is something essential to Britain’s economy."